We’ve been waiting for the Tar Heels to beat down a lesser conference opponent for the last couple of seasons, instead of playing down to the level of competition. That performance came today as Carolina improved to 10-3 overall, 2-0 in ACC play after routing Boston College 91-65 in Conte Forum Sunday afternoon. Carolina shot 52% from the field, as they were powered by Caleb Love’s 22 points. Which was a game high. Armando Bacot produced his ninth double-double of the season, as he scored 18 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds. R.J. Davis was able to build off his performance against App State back before Christmas, as the scored 17 points on 5-5 shooting. Lastly, Brady Manek scored 17 off the bench. The Tar Heels lost Dawson Garcia early in the game after being involved in a collision. Carolina was also without Justin McKoy, who didn’t travel due to health and safety protocols. Even without McKoy, and Garcia, no player played more than 29 minutes in the win.
After having Wednesday’s game against Virginia Tech postponed, and today’s game pushed back a day, Hubert Davis spent the week trying to get his team better defensively. HIs team responded, as they only allowed the Eagles to shoot 31% from the field, and just 8-28 from behind the arc. In the first half, Boston College mustered 20 points on 17% shooting. DeMarr Langford entered the game leading BC in scoring at over 12 points per game, and only scored 8 points on 3-10 shooting. Carolina will see better shooting teams as the ACC season moves along, but this is a great start to 19 straight conference games.
These are games in year’s past that Carolina either lost, or played just good enough to win. After a quick 4-0 start for Boston College, it appeared we were heading to another one of those games, before a 16-2 Tar Heel spurt allowed Carolina to take control of the game, and never looked back. If this team can start to develop that type of killer instinct, watch out
If Carolina wants to legitimately compete to win the ACC regular season, they will have to take care of business on the road. Both of UNC’s ACC wins have been at Georgia Tech and now at Boston College. This is the first time since the 2015-16 season that Carolina has won their first two ACC road games by double digits. That team would win the ACC regular season, conference tournament, and play for the national championship. Their next ACC game is Wednesday at Notre Dame, a game they will enter confident after today’s performance
Armando Bacot & Caleb Love: If Carolina can get the production they got today from their two best players, this team is going to be tough to beat. Armando has morphed into the consistent player this team needs, as he has 9 double-doubles in 13 games this season. Meanwhile Caleb Love is starting to learn how to take games over, on both ends of the court, which is a scary sight for future ACC opponents.
3 Point Shooting/Defense: The Tar Heels looked like the perimeter shooting team we saw early in the season, as they sniped 11-23 attempts. The perimeter shots started falling after Boston College received a heavy dose of Armando Bacot and Brady Manek on the interior. Love knocked in a game best 4 triples, R.J. Davis added 2, Brady Manek had a couple, and Kerwin Walton, D’Marco Dunn and Armando Bacot all had 1 apiece. On the defensive end, Boston College was just 8-28, and never got into any rhythm shooting from the outside.
Rebounding: The only way Boston College was going to control the tempo was the out-rebound Carolina, but that didn’t happen, as UNC outmuscled the Eagles 42-35 for the game. If Hubert Davis will have any gripes it will be that his team allowed 12 offensive rebounds, which were converted into 13 second chance points. Bacot led the way with 11 total rebounds. Brady Manek hauled in 7, and Leaky Black grabbed 6.
Turnovers/Free Throws: The Tar Heels protected the basketball today, as they committed 9 turnovers. As good as their defense was they only forced 8 Boston College miscues. Carolina was also efficient from the foul line, as they shot 16-19 as a team. R.J. Davis led the team, going 5-5 from the charity stripe.
Up Next: Carolina has a relatively quick turnaround, as they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame, Wednesday night at 9 PM, on ESPN2.